G2 blurry images

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by nickfromlondon, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. nickfromlondon

    nickfromlondon Mu-43 Regular

    27
    Dec 4, 2011
    Good evening everyone,

    Firstly sorry for what is going to be a really stupid question! I am a novice photographer and bought the G2 on the advice of this forum (preferring the cheap deal and a mic input to the G3).

    Today was my daughter's birthday and we went to a restaurant. Lighting wasn't brilliant but it was by no means dark.

    You've guessed it... so many of my images came out blurred. I tried iA mode, sports indoor mode, portraits indoors. Every time my subject moved a milimeter, it blurred the photo terrible.

    Asking friends on twitter, I was told that I needed a fast shutter speed to compensate this. However, unless I am totally mistaken, with indoors light, the fastest I can have the shutter is 1/5 with a 3.5 aperture. Any faster and the picture is basically black.

    Sadly this is not fast enough to stop the photos blurring. Is there no way I can up the shutter speed and still have good photos?

    Please tell me I am missing something very obvious here!

    And, if at all possible, what the best settings for indoor photography like this would be (you know, classic family situations...)

    Oh and I am using the kit lens...

    Thanks so much for your help...

    Nick
     
  2. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    You have a few options...
    1) Boost your ISO, at the cost of noise. I don't remember what the max auto-ISO setting is by default, but 1600 is usable for most purposes and even 3200 can be passable for Facebook. RAW helps, if you sit down and take the time to dial in NR by hand in post. (Some review sites like to give stupid advice like "noise beyond ISO 800 hurts quality", but so does having a blurry mess of an image.)
    2) Flash. You'll get crappy flash photos, but at least you'll have photos.
    3) A fast lens, like the 20 f/1.7 or 25 f/1.4. These aren't stabilized, so you'll need to hold the camera steady, but they'll let you run the shutter much, much faster.
     
  3. nickfromlondon

    nickfromlondon Mu-43 Regular

    27
    Dec 4, 2011
    Hi Promit, thanks for the great advice. Yes, used the flash, dreadful photos but, like you say, at least I had some images!

    Very good point about the ISO versus noise question. Can I ask, what is the best way to reduce noise? Is there the option in the software which came with the camera? Or should I use photoshop or even one of the propriety noise reduction softwares?

    Finally, part of me is concerned that the kit lens is not "fit" for what I need it to do. I have heard of the 20f lens but it is £250 and I don't have the budget for it right now. Have I made a mistake with this camera, in so far as the lens is not going to give me enough quality in enough situations? Or am I, as I suspect, being harsh?

    Thanks again...
     
  4. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Not having the right lens doesn't mean you made a mistake on your camera purchase, it just means you don't have the right lens. When you can afford to, get a faster lens.

    Don't use the in-camera noise filter, that will soften your images and reduce the detail of your capture. Use a noise rediction plug-in for Photoshop.
     
  5. nickfromlondon

    nickfromlondon Mu-43 Regular

    27
    Dec 4, 2011
    Hi Ned,

    Thanks a lot for your reply. I can't help but thinking that my kit lens is not going to be great and that maybe my naivety should have meant that I thought of this before plumping for the G2. Unless I am wholly mistaken, in DSLRs like Canon and Nikon, there are some brilliant similarly performing lenses around the $100 mark.

    I just don't know how I can justify another $300 on this camera. Conversely though, if it cannot perform in a basic family setting at a restaurant today then I'm really worried that I am going to be really short for what I need if I stick with the kits lens.

    Are there any other lens alternatives which would be as good as this but cheaper? If I am not mistaken, you can use Olympus lenses too, no?

    And is there any point in using an adapter and getting one of the cheaper Nikon/ Canon lenses?

    Thanks for taking the time to help me...
     
  6. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Vin
    Unfortunately you won't be able to get any good indoor low light shots with any kit lens out there, whether you get a Nikon, Cannon, or Panasonic. If you don't want to spend money on a lens then perhaps an interchangeable lens camera is not what you really want.

    I would suggest an advanced compact like the Panasonic LX-5, Canon S95, or Olympus XZ-1. They all have very bright lenses with aperture of 2.0 or less. If nice indoor family snapshots are what matters to you then these cameras offer a good compromise with some downgrade in overall image quality.
     
  7. nickfromlondon

    nickfromlondon Mu-43 Regular

    27
    Dec 4, 2011
    Thanks Spatulaboy, good advice but it's too late now as I've bought the G2 so other cameras are not an option.

    But that's fine, I am sure I have got myself a good camera.

    Let me ask one straight question, is this 20mm lens an absolute must have? Will I simply be constantly frustrated by the kit lens? Or to put it another way... what does the kit lens give me that the 20mm doesn't? And vice versa?

    As a novice type user, would the kind of differences I would see in return for the investment actually not be worth it? (i.e. is this more of a professional/enthusiast thing to buy?)

    Oh and one other quick question... is the 20mm lens also better for video capture than the kit lens would be?
     
  8. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    Another option is a 'cheap' adapted lens. A legacy 50mm f1.8 and adapter can be had for peanuts these days. The manual-focus will be a little bit of a hassle but you'll get the shots.

    The kit can always be used up until the light goes too.

    The noise is always a bit of a personal taste thing. Its nice to get smooth images but sometimes noise can add a certain quality to the pics.

    I used an OM2, Winder and Zuiko 50mm f1.4 and some Fuji 800 at a birthday dinner in a very dark restaurant a few months back. Pictures came back super grainy but quite acceptable.
     
  9. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Though not as fast as the Lumix 20mm/1.7, the Lumix 14mm/2.5 and m.Zuiko 17mm/2.8 (to answer your other question - yes, you can use Oly lenses) are still a lot faster than your kit lens but more affordable. The latter can be found used but like-new for as little as $150.

    Or if you don't need AF you can look at fast legacy lenses. I'm guessing you'll want AF though from the things you've said.

    Until then, just keep the ISO high enough to retain a comfortable shutter speed. It's a last resort and will introduce noise and lose detail in your image, but you'll still get the shot and it will still be much cleaner and more detailed than a point-and-shoot!
     
  10. nickfromlondon

    nickfromlondon Mu-43 Regular

    27
    Dec 4, 2011
    Thanks Ned. I really must say, I am a little blown away by the generosity of information in this forum.

    I have looked up those lenses. Both similar in price when new but yes, the olympus does seem to be available 2nd hand.

    Forgive me for asking this question again but I just need to get my head around it as I am tempted to get the 20mm tomorrow...

    I just need to know what the 20mm does that the kit lens doesn't, and vice versa.

    The sense I get is that the 20mm will do a better job in 80% of instances compared to the kit lens.

    I guess all I am trying to avoid is buying the lens then discovering some major thing I should have known about or thought about before taking the plunge (I don't know... something like format, usability, anything really).

    Thanks again,

    Nick
     
  11. davidw

    davidw New to Mu-43

    8
    Jan 9, 2012
    holiday in Hong Kong
    I recently purchase the panasonic 14mm f2.5. With my EPM1. I am able to shoot indoors
    at night with normal lighting without any flash at 1600 iso.

    something which I was never able to do with the kit lens.
     
  12. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    The maximum aperture of the lens determines how much light the lens can capture. The f/1.7 maximum aperture of the 20 mm captures a lot more light than the maximum aperture of the kit zoom, at least 2 stops more which is 4 times as much light. That means it's easier to take photos in low light situations without needing to use a too slow shutter speed which can result in either camera shake or subject movement, or both, and it's also easier to take photos at a lower ISO setting which gives you less digital noise in the photo, especially in shadow areas.

    The kit lens is a zoom which means you can adjust its focal length which controls how much of a scene you can capture in a photo without having to move in closer or move further away. The 20mm has a fixed focal length so you can only change how much of the scene is in your photo by moving closer if you want to cut something out, or moving further away if you want to include more.

    Both types of lenses have different strengths and weaknesses. The reason zooms tend not to have as large a maximum aperture as fixed focal length lenses, also called prime lenses, is that zooms are more complicated to design and make and ones with a large maximum aperture get very expensive so you will never see such a lens as a kit lens. No company makes a large maximum aperture zoom lens specifically for the micro 43 format so if you want a lens with a large maximum aperture you need to consider prime lenses unless you can find a suitable zoom lens for another camera which can be adapted to a micro 43 camera body.
     
  13. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Vin
  14. supermaxv

    supermaxv Mu-43 Veteran

    273
    Sep 20, 2011
    There is a big tradeoff that far too many people gloss over in their hurry to recommend the Panasonic 20mm for low light - with the larger aperture of that lens, when you shoot wide open with it the plane of focus gets much narrower - so the background will get blurry. This is great if that's what you want, of course.
     
  15. punkman

    punkman Mu-43 Regular

    151
    Dec 30, 2011
    Europe
    nickfromlondon, if you are on a budget and you don't mind losing the autofocus, here are two options. On the plus side, you won't have to wait for the AF to lock on something to take a picture.

    CCTV 35mm f/1.7 Lens + C Mount For Micro 4/3 GH2 GF2 | eBay

    That's a pretty good lens for the price. I've bought from that seller, he's not the best but you don't have to wait for a package from Hong Kong.

    Samples: https://www.mu-43.com/f81/fujian-35mm-f-1-7-cctv-image-thread-11083/

    The other option is any old 50mm f1.4-1.8 SLR lens plus the appropriate adaptor. You will find a lot of them on eBay.
     
  16. adelorenzo

    adelorenzo Mu-43 Regular

    113
    Nov 9, 2011
    Whitehorse, Yukon
    My Pentax Super Takumar 50mm 1.4 and an adapter cost about $100. I used them at Christmas in extremely low light (mostly candles), got reasonable results at ISO 1600. Noisy but not enough to ruin the picture, IMHO. Many types of inexpensive legacy lenses like that one available.

    Also, shoot RAW it gives you way more to work with.

    Some examples:
    Flickr: Anthony DeLorenzo's stuff tagged with christmaseve2011

    These were mostly around 1/20 or 1/25 at ISO 1600. I don't remember but in most shots I was probably shooting 1-2 stops down (somewhere around f2.0) to get a little more in focus.
     
  17. KS11

    KS11 Mu-43 Veteran

    411
    Jan 31, 2011
    Busan/Hong Kong
    for the cheapest option, without having to buy a new lens and other more expensive flashes is to get a flash diffuser imo.....so you can use your on camera flash and have a softer lighting from that...